Psionics Unleashed by Dreamscarred Press
This product is 231 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (5 pages)
*Note – (I wanted to point out, I was never a huge fan of Psionics, I was given this product for the purpose of this review. I have nothing against Psioncis they was just never my thing. So I am writing this review from the point of view of someone who is coming in that is new to psionics.)
Introduction (2 pages)
This gets into what Psionics are, about their powers, over all chapter breakdown, changes made and why, it ends with a message from the two main authors of the book, talking about the project.
Chapter 1 – Races (12 pages)
This section has 8 new races, who are all psionicly adept. It lists full information about them. From game mechanics, society, description, relations to other races and Psionic Aptitude.(special things they get when taking their favored class) Below is a list of the new races and brief overview.
Blue – a goblin race.
Dromite – Halfling sized insect people.
Duergar – you know what they are, dwarves.
Elan – created race, chosen from other races and transformed.
Half-giant – They sound more like a new race of giants though they are supposed half fire giant but it doesn't really say or imply what other half they are, I suppose human.
Maenad – More or less a new ethnic group of humans.
Ophiduan – a reptilian based race.
Xeph – a new race that looks fairly human.
Chapter 2 – Classes (18 pages)
This section has 4 new base classes. It has a section about how to update your old classes to the new versions, a section on multi-classing, and power points. After this it gets into each of the new classes. I copied a bit of the book below to give a bit about each class.
Psion: A master of the mind, a seeker of knowledge of psionics. - More or less the equal of a full caster class. Low BaB, hp etc. They have six disciplines to choose from, sorta like magic schools in a way.
Psychic Warrior: A soldier who combines psionic power with physical prowess. - To me it seemed to be more like a self buffing bard that fights. They gain warriors paths, abilities to do special things based on the theme of the path.
Soulknife: A warrior who creates a unique weapon out of mental energy. - This one is a bit hard to explain, it is a light armored fighter that uses their mind to create weapons to attack with. Other than just giving their mental energy weapon bonuses they can also give them special abilities, such as shocking, holy, keen etc.
Wilder: A natural talent with psionics who channels emotion to wield uncontrolled power. - There is really no class or roll they are really like. They have great power but limited control.
Chapter 3 – Skills and Feats (18 pages)
This talks about any skill that works different, or in the case of spellcraft how it is used for psionic power checks etc. The choose to condense the skill list to fit pathfinder and mesh psionics and magic more. Use magic device is used for magic and psionic devices for example. Some might not like these changes, me I do. That was always one of my issues with psionics before. It does the same thing with feats, such as magic item creation feats, what types of psionic items can be created with the feat. There is also 69 new psionic based feats, to many to list honestly but all of them seemed on par with existing feats.
Chapter 4 – Psionics (14 pages)
This section gets into how powers work, saves, costs, adding powers, resistance(which like other stuff is now the same as Spell Resistance, a monster with one has the same for both), how to use psionics in your games, variant rules so psionics and magic don't overlap. Basically a overview of how the powers work and how to use them in your campaign.
Chapter 5 – Powers (86 pages)
This has the power lists for the classes. Followed by the write up of each of the powers. There is about 290 powers in the book. Some copy the effects of existing spells(to a point), while others are totally new.
Chapter 6 - Prestige Classes (20 pages)
This section deals with new prestige classes for the psionic base classes or non-psionic base classes to take. There is 9 new PrC's in this section.
Cerebremancer: A practitioner of both arcane magic and psionic power, wielding both efficiently. - Combines psionic powers with arcane spells.
Elocater: A master of altering gravity and space, performing seemingly impossible maneuvers. - any martial class and psionic class could work.
Metamind: A manifester who sacrifices his expertise with higher level abilities to expand his reservoir of power.
Phrenic Slayer: A hunter of a type of psionic creature who gains abilities to aid in the chase. - Can work with any melee class and psionic class, but ranger seems to fit best.
Psion Uncarnate: A manifester who has left the need for a physical body behind.
Psychic Fist: A monk who uses his innate psionic ability to augment his martial prowess. - Seems like a good soul knife/monk combo.
Pyrokineticist: A wielder of flame, sending bolts of fire at enemies and using their body heat to heal.
Thrallherd: A manifester who puts out a psionic call for thralls and believers. - a PrC that focuses on controlling the minds of others.
Warmind: A devastating warrior who learns many secret combat techniques.
Chapter 7 – Psionic Items (28 pages)
How to use psionic items. More or less they are similar to how magic items already exist in the game. It does have some psionic effects of their own and a good list of psionic premade items.
Chapter 8 – Psionic Monsters (25 pages)
There is 20 monsters in this section, with a couple having more than one variation like the construct.
Glossary (2 pages)
This explains all the terms used in the book and what they mean.
It ends with a OGL and ad. (2 pages)
Closing thoughts. As I mentioned at the start I was never a fan of psionics, I had nothing against them. I just felt they never added enough, for the work required to add a new total system to the game. With this book combining a lot of the aspects like use of skills, resistances etc that in my honest opinion makes psionics a lot easier to adapt into more traditional games. The writing was good and I didn't notice any major errors, it was fairly easy to understand for a newbie just get into it. The layout was decent but there was a few spots where there was some wasted space, end of the feats chapter was a big one. A single feat on a otherwise blank page.
The art ranged wildly, some was color, some was black and white. Some was cartoony and other more traditional. The quality also wildly ranged as well. I honestly found the art to be a let down. It wasn't the quality but the clashing styles was more of a problem for me. This book basically takes the existing psionic rules and updates them to Pathfinder rules and meshes them much better with the game in my opinion. I think these rules as someone who was not a fan of psionics before to be a vast improvement over the old rules. Enough so that I for the first time in a very long time, will experiment with using them in my games again. To see how it goes. I am not ready to let them fully in, but the book did a good enough job that I will sprinkle them in and see how it goes.
The feats, powers, classes etc. They all seem well written and well balanced against the existing Pathfinder core rules. I didn't find anything overly powerful or overly weak. I am unsure how it stacks up with the previous books as I only have passing knowledge with the 3.5 psionic rules. My main issues with the book was clashing art styles and I thought the layout could have been done better. So whats my rating? I find this one hard to rate since I think it depends if you was already a fan of psionics or not. Personally I am giving it a 4 star review from my point of view. For fans of psionics that want something for their Pathfinder game I think you will be very pleased. For those that thought psionics had issues before but was not dead seat against them, you might want to check the book out, it might just change your mind. If you was one of those that just hate the idea of psionics in fantasy, well I don't think this book will change your mind.